You Take Requests? For What Exactly?

Here's how it works...You give me five bucks, you tell me what to draw, and I draw it. I'll email you the image and then I'll post it here for everyone to see (I offer no guarantees on quality). Everyone wins!

Three things you can't request--Hardcore porn. The materials/media used. Your money back.

I will reject money for any logo requests (personal or corporate), so please don't send them. I have friends that are graphic designers, and that is their job--I'm just a cartoonist.

This is for fun and funds, so the quality of the drawing will depend based on my interest in the subject matter, the approach I decide to take, and available materials. Please don't cheat the system, by asking me to draw 100 different likenesses in one drawing for $5. I'll probably just send your money back. All requests will be posted on the site as I get to them (please keep in mind that I do have a full-time job). Due to shipping costs, I will only mail out the original art to folks who have made more than two requests. Please keep in mind that due to the size of the scanner, some of the pieces are folded or trimmed. I retain the full rights to any of the art I create, but if you want to use it for something, just ask me.

John Gholson

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"a large meteorite just as it breaks the surface of Town Lake"

I suspect there's a back story to this request from Wendy Cotter, but I have no idea what it is. It's a simple request--the first volley in the utter destruction of our fair city. Thanks, Wendy!

"Something dark, along the lines of Edgar Allen Poe"

Going out of order just a little bit for this experimental piece (partly because I didn't want two images in a row with the Austin skyline). This is not truly a scan of the original art, instead this request from Dawn Lambright has been digitally manipulated because I really thought the effect added something to the image. Dawn will receive a scan of the original, and I'll post the "raw" version someday soon so everyone can see the difference. Thanks, Dawn!

"Luke Mullen and Slevin as a crime fighting duo"

I'm actually typing this from Luke Mullen's computer! Yes, I know a superhero personally. Slevin is dressed in the classic Iron Man armor, modified, of course, for his canine body. This request comes from Katie Slaughter. Thanks, Katie!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

"a bananafish"

If the banana fish is a real type of fish, then someone help me out here. I assumed it was a real fish, but an image search only turned up bizarre and silly pictures of a creature, much like the one you see pictured above, literally half-banana, half-fish. This is for Chad Walters' three-year old daughter. I hope she likes it. Thanks, Chad!

"a lantern fish having a staring contest with a giant squid"

This request comes from Tara Tomlinson of CyberMonkeyDeathSquad, a passionate site dedicated to cool (and geeky) pop culture. This may be the first time I've used a photo reference to draw a squid, by the way. While you may think he's small for a "giant" squid, the truth is that this lantern fish is actually monstrously huge. Thanks, Tara!

"A handsome cowboy riding a bronking rhino"

This request is from my awesome Mom! Thanks, Mom!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tuesday Night Update

Okay...the day job has settled down some, so it's quite literally back to the drawing board for me.

Look for a steady stream of output over the next two days...You guys deserve some freshly baked cookies for being so patient with me.

Rock on, requesters. Rock on.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Cthulhu, Cerberus, Medusa, and Tony Danza playing poker, with Danza showing a royal flush and saying 'Who's the Boss, bitches?!'"

Hopefully, the Tony Danza is a hilarious cheat. No, I didn't draw his head, but I did digitally manipulate it enough to fit in with the rest of this drawing from requester Brad McHargue. I know absolutely nothing about poker (obviously), but I know monsters. This is the third Cthulhu request, the fourth if you want to count this guy, which I think officially allows this blog to be described as Lovecraftian. Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn, Brad!

"A picture of Emily Dunn as a turtle"

Emily, you "dunn" been turned into a turtle! Don't thank me; thank requester Danny Catlow. Enjoy your new diet of small insects and aquatic plants! Thanks, Danny!

"A dark brown chihuahua called Marmite"

So far, all of the pet requests have come with photo references, but not this one from Nick Seeber. I'm sure the real Marmite is a little cutie, but this Marmite quivers like a maniac on his hind legs with the hope that you will give him one of your Cool Ranch Doritos. Thanks, Nick!

"A rat with a cone on his head"

Now this I can draw. I actually drew the rat first out of the three Stephen Eichner requests, but when I got around to his other two requests, and they turned out so incredibly mediocre, I went back and re-drew the rat from scratch, to make up for the lousy cars. I'll show you the rejected rat (who has more of a classic Mickey Mouse look) sometime in a post with all of the Taking Request rejects, but I like this one much better. Thanks, Stephen, for giving me such challenging requests!

"A police car sending a bunch of construction cones flying "

This request is marginally better than the last one from Stephen Eichner, because I was able to cover up my crappiness with flying cones! I have a feeling these pictures are going to be used for something--no idea what--and it bothers me that I'm not better at drawing automobiles. This is sort of "Part 2" in a three part series of requests, so I have one more chapter to redeem myself...Thanks again, Stephen!

"a cop dodging a big tractor trailer"

Okay, people, the truth is out. If there's one thing I completely suck at drawing, it's cars. I obeyed the request from Stephen Eichner, and I've probably shamed myself in the process. The best part is this is the first of two motor vehicle illustration requests from Mr. Eichner, so if you're a fan of seeing me humiliate myself in public, you have another bad car drawing to look forward to! *sigh* Thanks, Stephen!

"A Trazom beating Paul Gandersman to death for filming it"

Paul Gandersman wanted to see himself getting beaten by one of the characters from his very own movie. He thinks this will make up for the hours that he forced two men to wait on-set in the most uncomfortable costumes known to man. This drawing is simply not enough to make those men's nightmares disappear, but my work is done here...Thanks, Paul!

"Groucho Marx slapping Tom Servo"

Brian Saur's request feels like an in-joke that I'm not a part of. I would rather slap Tom Servo than Crow, so there's a part of me that can sympathize with Groucho Marx here, though. Thanks, Brian!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"Alamo-Lamar sign taking chainsaw to cell user in theater"

This kind of stuff can be really fun to draw; I can't even pretend I'm offended. William B. Goss, you are a sick man, and I hope you get professional help, and I hope you request something similar in the near future. Thanks, William!

"Cthulhu Looking Dejected After Being Denied a Library Card"

Another Cthulhu request from Peter S. Hall of Horror's Not Dead fame. Thanks again, Peter!

"the grim reaper driving a bumper car"

"I'd like the grim reaper to be chasing a chubby, scared kid in another bumper car. If possible, the sickle should be pointed at the scared kid, like the reaper wants to touch him with it," requests Elissa Rodgers. I feel like this request has some kind of a story behind it, but I may never know for sure. We all meet our maker someday. Sorry, fat kid, but it looks like it's your time to go. Thanks, Elissa!

"Ed Wood Jr and a monkey with 3D glasses"

Oh, man, did this one give me problems. First of all, there's apparently only two photos of Ed Wood on the internet (three if you count one single image I found from Glen or Glenda), and the two pictures look like two completely different people. Secondly, I scanned this about a dozen times, and it scanned wrong every single time. Major frustration. So, instead of my head exploding with rage, I used the scanner's screw-up in my favor, cropped the picture differently than I planned, and gave it a 1950's color scheme. Personally, I think it works, and I can always re-scan this, Ant Timpson's second request, later for his own use. Thanks again, Ant!

"Gorilla armed with a video camera"

Ant Timpson is the first request from out of North America that I am aware of. This one comes all the way from New Zealand, which I think we can all agree is so much better than that dusty Old Zealand. Thanks, Ant!

"1 grey tabby doing something silly or catty"

And here's Plunkett--the companion piece to the request from Jenn Brown. He's got the Robert Carlyle thing goin' on from the film Plunkett & Macleane. Thanks, Jenn!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday Afternoon Update

Hey, all! I've been adjusting to a new (temporary) work schedule this week that's been getting me home very late at night (didn't get home until 4am last night), so there hasn't been a high volume of artistic output from me this week...


Thursday and Friday are my days off this week. I'll be posting at least TWENTY new pieces during those two days, so an avalanche of updates is on the way! I appreciate everyone's patience, and I know you won't be disappointed once the updates start flowing.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"1 ginger tabby doing something silly or catty"

Jenn Brown's cat is named Macleane, and his "brother" is Plunkett, so I decided to dress him in the costume Johnny Lee Miller wears in the 1999 film that bears these kitties' names, Plunkett & Macleane. Thanks, Jenn!

Monday, July 13, 2009

"a film geek girl, with glasses, writing in a notebook like a reporter"

Jenn Brown requested this, and, stylistically, it looks like my Hanna-Barbera influence is definitely showing. I think I'm going to ask my own drawing out on a date. Thanks, Jenn!

"rocket built by a six year old"

Requester Brandon Buck may have been expecting something else, but I promise this is a rocket built by a six year-old. This is my Millenium Falcon. It was made from a cardboard refrigerator box, and it sat in a bamboo clearing that grew along the edge of a pipeline behind my grandparents' house in Houston. My cousin Jared was five and I was six; most of the time, he was Luke and I was Han. We got good use of the box before the rain flattened it out and made it so that we couldn't get inside of it anymore.

Thanks, Brandon!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Evening Update

Some of you may have noticed that I disabled the PayPal Request button this week. I did this in order to allow myself to get caught up before the weekend, but no worries--the button will be restored on Friday, and I should have the list back down to a manageable size by then.

Here's a list of all the current paid requests in my email inbox, in order...
Brandon Buck, Jenn Brown, Becky Gandy, Anthony Timpson, Elissa Rodgers, Peter S. Hall, William B. Goss, Brian Saur, Paul Gandersman, Stephen Eichner, Nick Seeber, Danny Catlow, Bradley McHargue, Tara Tomlinson, Chad Walters, Freddy C. Hamby, Katie Slaughter, Wendy Cotter, Dawn Lambright, Debbie Cerda, Elizabeth Novo, Charles Cowan, Max Crandall, Tabitha Parker, Angela Maldanado, Rachel Cerkovnik, Brian Gordon, Noah Lee, George Hickman, Tiffany Sullivan, Jay Rawson, Paul Alvarado-Dykstra, Jen Blair, Mick Tomlinson, Joanna Holland.

Look for updates throughout the coming week! I am so excited that this has taken off in such a big way, and I owe everyone on this list my heartfelt thanks.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Jen Blair as a robot"

BEEP BOOP BEEP ROBOT NOISES...Jen Blair requested herself as a robot, so I drew her android head, suspended by wires and tubes. I'm happy with the likeness, which I tried to pull off with mostly line-work and a minimum of detail. Thanks, Jen!

"my cat Hootie"

Three requests in a row from Tanya Ortega for her beloved cat Hootie. Thanks, Tanya!

Friday, July 10, 2009

"a peeved boy fairy"

One peeved boy fairy comin' right up, Jamie Teekell. Why is he so ticked off? I would assume he's upset about the current American economic crisis, as most wee-folk of the forest glen are. Thanks, Jamie!

"zombie monkey biting someones neck"

What do zombie monkeys eat? PLANTAAAAAAAAAINS. Ugh. Sorry. There's a simplicity to this cartoon piece that I like quite a bit. This request comes from one of my nearest and dearest friends, Arnie Bobbitt, who has known me since I was in short pants. Check out his blog Zombie Monkey Attack! where he mostly muses about WoW and the sexual preferences of his friend Ryan. Thanks, Arnie!

"Something x files related"

You'll probably start to notice my likes and dislikes in regards to subject matter as this site continues, and you'll probably learn that I really like monsters. Makes sense then that I would choose to draw the memorable "flukeman" over Scully and Mulder in this X-Files request from 20/20 Proof. Thanks, Proof!

"Clint Eastwood's face in The Enforcer sunglasses"

George Takenami requested this portrait, and I am very pleased with the way it turned out. I hope George is too. Thanks, George!

"The guys from Dethklok beating up the Jonas Brothers"

Here's two things I'm almost completely unfamiliar with: Dethklok and The Jonas Brothers. I cheated and drew one single Deathklok member, and I de-capitated the JoBros, instead of drawing them getting beat did I really follow the request at all? No. I didn't. Ha. But, this just feels right. Thanks, Mick!

"a forearm and hand with a tattoo of RAT FINK on the forearm"

Historical Footnote: This was the first request I ruined by not paying attention to the details of the request. I originally drew a BICEP with a Ratfink tat, instead of a forearm, then had to go back and re-draw it (albeit in a different style than before). Thanks to Toni Taylor-Salisbury for being my arm model and thanks to Blakgumz for the request!

"Klaus Kinski with a ginormous head"

Gumz got really specific and decided he wanted, no, NEEDED, Kinski as he appeared in the film Fitzcarraldo. I've never seen it. I really only watch movies with punchy robots turning into punchy cars and punching each other. Thanks, Blakgumz!

"Tetsuo from akira with a gigantic head"

Tried something crazy on this one. I'm not 100% happy with the result, but I like the concept. If I didn't have eleventybillion requests to do, I would probably explore this one further and re-draw it...Thanks, Blakgumz!

"Maria from Metropolis"

I'm not going to lie. I love how this one turned out. Thanks, Blakgumz!

"A Vulcan pin up girl"

At first, my imagination was running wild, as both a red-blooded American male and as a colossal Star Trek nerd, but requester Elizabeth Novo sent photo references as well, and that changed the game plan slightly. Knowing it would be based on a real person (and a person I don't know) , I felt I had to get the likeness at least in the ballpark, and the photos were of a woman that was smiling. Smiling! So, this Vulcan pin-up girl ends up showing emotion because the girl in the photo is showing emotion (and I don't know what she looks like when she isn't smiling). Also, because it was a real person, I didn't get as revealing as the last pin-up girl request, though I have to say, she is still pretty foxy. Live long and prosper, Elizabeth!

EDIT: I just noticed that there were TWO Vulcan pin-up girls requested from Elizabeth! Sorry, Elizabeth, that I got confused by the orders. This is obviously the one based on the picture. The next one will be the original one where I get all Pon Farr on everybody.

"your rendition of buddha"

I tossed around the idea of doing something sketchier, more life-like, then went completely the other direction and settled on something more graphically experimental than I usually do. It's another interesting request from Mark Roma, and I hope he likes it. Thanks, Mark!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuesday Night Update

Bottom line: I need new pens. This can't happen until Thursday, so here's the coming schedule going into the weekend...

Requests to be posted on Thursday:
#25 Mark Roma
#26 Elizabeth Nova
#27-30 Blakgumz
#31 Mick Tomlinson

Requests to be posted on Friday:
#32 George Takenami
#33 "20/20 Proof"
#34 Arnie Bobbitt
#35 Jamie Teekell
#36-38 Tanya Ortega
#39 Jen Blair

Requests to be posted on Saturday:
#40 Brandon Buck
#41-43 Jenn Brown
#44 Becky Gandy

Requests to be posted on Sunday (tentative):
#45-46 Anthony Timpson
#47 Elissa Rodgers
#48 Peter S. Hall
#49 William B. Goss

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"A Nazi SS Officer eating toast with a female panda bear"

Sometimes you just get exactly what you ask for. I do not understand anything about this request from Shannon Howard, but I think I might like it that way. Thanks, Shannon!

"70s Sexy Soul Sista Fighting A Starship Trooper"

The research that went into creating every pain-staking detail of the Starship Troopers uniform in this illustration can not be quantified in Earth numbers. It was, like, a lot of time. Like three minutes or so on Google image search. A "bunch" of minutes, to use a scientific term. I can only assume Dshanya Reese has it out for Paul Verhoeven's man-versus-beetle wartime satire in the worst way, based on her request. It's certainly not my best drawing, but it's good enough to make you want to ask further questions about Miss Reese's desire to see Johnny Rico get his. Thanks, Dshanya!

Monday, July 6, 2009

"Sexy Soul Sista from the 70s"

If I had another crack at this one, I would take an entirely different approach--more artful, less blaxploitation. Regardless, she's a cutie, and so is Dshanya Reese who requested this bad mamma jamma. Thanks, Dshanya!

"silly penguin"

Welcome to the early 90's, Silly Penguin! Please enjoy our Kevin Costner movies and Technotronic albums. I'm not sure why I set Katie Slaughter's request so firmly in a distant time (and place), but I like to think that penguins never got more silly than when they pleaded with us to "be cool, stay in school", and I'm sure that influenced me in some strange way. Thanks, Katie!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Night Update

Okay...I need to get some more supplies before I can get to requests #21 and #22, but I figured since I am so close to the finish line on the last batch, I would go ahead and post who's next.

#23 Dshanya Reese
#24 Shannon Howard
#25 Mark Roma
#26 Elizabeth Nova
#27-#30 Blakgumz (Check out this guy's fantastic art! He's a good friend of mine who's done work for Korn, System of a Down and mc chris. Yeah, he's pretty much incredible.)
#31 Mick Tomlinson

I may be disabling the PayPal button soon to allow me to catch up (which is unexpected, but positive). If I can't get all the way to #30 posted by Wednesday, I'll have to turn it off for a little while, but I'm hoping I can avoid that. If it does disappear, and you wanted to place an order, just check back here or follow me on Twitter and I'll notify everyone when I'm taking requests again. I appreciate everyone's patience as I adjust my schedule to accomodate all the artwork ahead. Thank you all so much.

"a zombie"

I'm a big horror nerd, so of course I get excited when I'm asked to draw a monster. Megan Hagins, producer of the zombie flick Pathogen requested a zombie, so I decided to make this one really, really rotten. Thanks, Megan!

"A lion"

Straight-forward and to the point, J.C. DeLeon sends this simple request for his favorite animal. I like drawing animals. Thanks, J.C.!

"Pirate Airplane"

I guess that makes it an ARRRRRRplane. I am not the greatest at drawing vehicles or machinery, but here's my take on Brandon Buck's request for a pirate airplane. Check out Mr. Buck's fine work with the gang at Causecast. Thanks, Brandon!

"a samurai!"

Mark Roma requested a samurai, and I decided to go quiet and introspective over some crazy drawing of an armored warrior. I shared an office space with Mark for about a year, and he's truly one of the nicest people I've ever met. I think this meditative samurai represents him well. Thanks, Mark!

"Alf as a leather daddy!"

Sometimes you just draw what you're told, and it's better not to ask questions.

This (hilarious) request comes from Justin Ishmael, who runs Mondo here in Austin, a great store specializing in some of the coolest custom tees you've ever seen and truly amazing "re-imagined" movie poster art prints from a variety of great artists. Thanks, Justin!

"Malificent from Sleeping Beauty"

The fact that this drawing, as simple as it looks, was one of the most difficult I've done so far, speaks volumes about the artistry of Walt Disney Animation and the simple, elegant line work of the character designs in Sleeping Beauty. Maleficent is a fantastic, iconic villain, and I hope my crack at her, while lacking in finesse, still evokes the classic character. This is from Toni Taylor-Salisbury to Luke Mullen. Thanks, Toni!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Pinup a la bomber plane nose, wardrobe malfunction imminent"

Helloooooooo, Nurse! This request from Chris Clark was, er, very inspiring. I have no idea why I made her a nurse, but there ya go. This request was very fun to draw. Thanks, Chris!


The request from Chad Walters: "Ok, this is a concept piece. I am a director of engineering at a software company. The next version of our software (Teamworks) is code named Thunderdome. I would like a drawing that would be special incorporating these two names and possibly the movie theme "Thunderdome"." I didn't want to get cornered into designing a logo, since that's graphic design and not really drawing per se, but I decided to mix vintage Mad Max with the stereotypical IT nerd and came up with this. This was the most challenging request so far. Thanks, Chad!